The International 12 Mid Laners – What to Expect?

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The International 12 Mid Laners – What to Expect?

Let’s take a look at some of the leading The International 12 mid heroes that we should see in action.

Unless Valve decides to change the patch before The International 12, Dota 2’s most important tournament of 2023 will take place on patch 7.34c. The latter hasn’t been out for that long, but we’ve already seen a couple of interesting events, including DreamLeague Season 21.

TI12 tournament will start in just a couple of days now, and we already have some data regarding the prize pool and how it’s going. Having said that, this article will go over something that’s probably more interesting than the prize, and it’s the TI12 mid heroes. We all know that the mid-lane will be one of the things that people will pay close attention to, especially earn on. Since some of the best Dota 2 players at TI 12 are midders, we can expect to see tons of interesting heroes, so let’s learn more details about them.

Shadow Fiend

Starting with the king of the mid-lane, we have Shadow Fiend, one of TI12 mid heroes that we will definitely see in action. Currently, Shadow Fiend is one of the most popular picks among professional players because the meta is really good for him. We don’t really have any super-aggressive roamers that can make his early game hard, which means teams can use SF’s unlimited farming potential.

Shadow Fiend is a hero who appeared a lot in the last big tournaments, including at DreamLeague Season 21. However, his win rate was not good at all, which means that teams have to think of new ways of using the hero.

Speaking of the devil, this The International 12 mid laner is known for fitting into many roles. He can be used as a right-clicking monster that focuses on physical damage or as a deadly spellcaster. Moreover, some players like getting items that allow SF to take team fights early on.

Considering the mid-laners that will be at TI 12, we can see that there are tons of legendary Shadow Fiend players. Therefore, the hero will appear a lot more than we think.


Let’s face it: Kunkka is not one of the heroes that you see in action a lot. In fact, he is usually picked when a given player is known for being good with the hero. However, considering the most recent changes and the fact that there are many world-class Kunkka players at The International 12, we expect to see the hero a lot more than before.

One of the reasons why we believe Kunkka will be among the leading TI12 mid lane heroes is because of his incredible early game. There is no arguing that this is one of the best laners you can have. Since the early game is incredibly important for professional games, especially in this meta, Kunkka fits really well.
If we take a look at the players at The International 12, we can see that there are a few big Kunkka players, such as Somnous. The Chinese legendary midder has used the hero throughout the years and has proven he can carry his team. Therefore, we believe this will be one of The International 12 mid heroes that deserves attention.

In terms of the hero’s performance in the current patch, Kunkka appeared a total of 18 times in DreamLeague Season 21. Interestingly, his win rate is a lot higher than expected.


If there is one classic Dota 2 midlane hero that will always be an option for The International, it has to be Razor. The hero is one of the best options you can have for the laning stage, and since this meta focuses on the early game, it’s no surprise Razor will be one of the top TI12 mid lane heroes that people will go for.

Unlike Kunkka, who is a more niche hero, Razor is an option played by everyone. Pretty much every professional Dota 2 midder can play with the hero, which is why we will definitely see him a lot in action. 

There have been several Razor metas in 2023, but the current one focuses on the hero’s early and mid-game capabilities. Instead of putting all eggs in one basket and getting items to boost their ultimate, players like getting items that allow them to be more efficient outside of the ult. As a result, you can often see different kinds of auras and other options.

Like Kunkka, Razor also appeared in multiple games at DreamLeague Season 21. The hero’s win rate was pretty good when compared to others, so we expect him to be among The International 12 mid heroes that teams will focus on.

Storm Spirit

Even though there are specific metas where Storm Spirit is not the go-to option, such as this one, there is no arguing this hero will shine. Considering the players that will be at the tournament, Storm Spirit will be one of TI 12 mid-lane heroes that will have the chance to shine in many matches.

Although Storm’s early game is not as good as Kunkka or Razor’s, the hero can be unstoppable in the mid-game. As long as he gets a good start, he can snowball and carry his team. As mentioned, the current meta does not favor some of the most annoying roamers that can ruin a given midder’s laning stage. Consequently, Storm Spirit can be a solid pick that could win the game. 

The thing about Storm Spirit is that he is not that good in a 1v1 matchup against either of the heroes mentioned earlier. Although he has the potential to be the leading The International 12 mid laner, SS players will have difficulties against the likes of Kunkka, Razor, and Shadow Fiend.

Arc Warden

Before sharing more details about Arc Warden, it’s worth knowing that this is not a hero that’s as popular as those mentioned earlier. In fact, they are not really even in the same league because Arc Warden is only played by a couple of professional players. However, considering his current state, we expect him to be one of TI 12 mid-lane heroes that will appear a lot more often than we think.

Currently, Arc Warden is one of the most successful heroes and has a pretty high win rate of 54% in PUB games. His ability to win the laning stage and farm/split push are second to none, so we expect professional players to take full advantage of it. 

If we take a look at some of the top Dota 2 players at The International 12 in the mid-lane, we can find several Arc Warden players. Arteezy, for example, is a name that has been seen with the hero several times. Although he is not Shopify Rebellion’s current midder, he can take this role when needed and use one of the TI 12 mid heroes.


Despite the fact that Zeus only appeared in 1 game at DreamLeague Season 21, we think that he is going to be one of the hidden gems among The International 12 mid laners. Zeus has always been one of the best nukers in the game and a hero who can fit into a lot of setups. He is fairly easy to play, and the fact that the hero has got tons of buffs lately will definitely make him more interesting for professional players.

Like Shadow Fiend and Storm Spirit, Zeus benefits a lot from the current meta because there aren’t a lot of roamers. Since he is one of the best nukers, he can easily deal with any opponent in the mid lane, especially if the latter is squishy. Once Zeus gains an advantage early on, he can be almost unstoppable in the mid-game, allowing his team to win in no time.

Despite the lack of picks at DreamLeague Season 21, Zeus is one of the most successful PUB game stompers right now. There is no arguing that the PUB meta rarely affects professional players, but we may see this hero in action.

The International 12 Mid Laners – What to Expect?
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.